Joaquin Phoenix Weekend – Irrational Man (2015)

Director: Woody Allen

Writer: Woody Allen (Screenplay)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, Jamie Blackley

 

Plot: A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Drags Along

 

Story: Irrational Man starts when mysterious and celebrated professor Abe Lucas (Phoenix) starts at a new college, he is the talk of the facility and the students who all believe they know who Abe is. When Abe starts work it is clear that he has a drinking problem and filled with unfulfillment going on through his life.

Making friends with fellow teacher Rita (Posey) and student Jill (Stone) who starts to get a crush on him, Abe does find a new purpose for life and gets torn between the two women one his age, one a student, what is the right decision for Abe?

 

Thoughts on Irrational Man

 

Characters – Abe Lucas is a brilliant and complicated professor, he drinks and is in full content mode as he goes through life. When he gets a reason to become positive, he starts taking a chance on different moments in life and gets torn between two women. Jill is a student at the college that takes a shine towards Abe, she must put her own relationship aside for her feeling towards him believing he can offer her a conversation her boyfriend can’t. Rita is a fellow professor that takes a shine towards Abe, she wants him to be his latest affair.

PerformancesThis is a film where it is hard to question the performances because the actors are only playing dull and uninteresting characters. the performances are fine, none will be remembered as the actors best or worst of their careers.

StoryThe story here follows a mysterious professor with a big reputation who joins the facility of a new college where he changes the lives of two women on the campus, while finding a new zest for life. In typical Woody Allen style this story goes in the directions you would imagine without having any dialogue you could see being real. The way everything unfolds feels just like a gossip magazine dealing with a rumour and you just lose all interest in the events.

ComedyThe comedy tries to be quirky without managing to hit any of this as the film roles on.

SettingsThe setting keeps us in and around the college campus as the stories spread around the campus.


Scene of the Movie –
The lift.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The conversations feel out of place.

Final ThoughtsThis is a typical Woody Allen movie, it tries to be quirky without hitting the marks and only seems to waste the talent involved.

 

Overall: Disappointing and dull.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Y – Yorgos Lantimos – The Favourite (2018)

Director: Yorgos Lantimos

Writer: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult

 

Plot: In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: For the Costume Lovers

 

Story: The Favourite starts as England is winning the war against the French in the early 18th century, Queen Anne (Colman) is happy to continue the war, while Lady Sarah (Weisz) her most trusted friend governs the country. When a cousin of Sarah’s Abigail (Stone) arrives searching for a job, she must first earn her spot.

When Abigail starts becoming a favourite of Lady Sarah, she is used to help care for Queen Anne, while dealing with the advances of Harley (Hoult), is she up to something or just a pawn in the game of the ladies.

 

Thoughts on The Favourite

 

Characters – Queen Anne is getting older and sicker, she has always turned to Lady Sarah for advice and help, even if she is tired of her stricter ways, she keeps rabbits which keep her occupied, while learns that Abigail is becoming a younger version who will keep her entertained. Lady Sarah has always been by the Queen’s side, she deals with the responsibilities the Queen doesn’t want to get through, she offers her cousin a chance to work in the mansion, only to become jealous of the relationship the two have. Abigail is the maid hired because of family connection, she shows her intelligence which makes her dangerous to anybody who crosses her. Harley is the son of one of the famous people working under the Queen, he will befriend Abigail to get closer to the Queen to learn about her decision-making process.

PerformancesFor the performances all I have seen is how wonderful the performances are from the three ladies, the performances from Colman, Weisz and Stone a great though we have seen better through the year.

StoryThe story follows a young maid as she tries to rise up through a royal household to reclaim her family name, she will do anything to push the rise through which sees her clashing with the Queen’s most loyal friend. This does feel like a game to stay ahead of the other which is fine for story, though it just tries to be too upper class with how everything unfolds and you can’t help but feel none of this remotely happened.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of this story does leave plenty of questions to be asked as you just don’t see any of these actually be possible. The comedy involved in the film is quirky and will only appeal to certain people.

SettingsThe settings in the film are easily the highlight of the film because everything looks completely authentic for the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Stop playing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me To stuck up for the most part.

Final ThoughtsThis is a quirky film from a director who is easily one that can split the audience, it is another film that will get wild praise and another one I just don’t get along with.

 

Overall: Quirky just not fantastic.

Rating

 

 

La La Land (2016)

lalaDirector: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt

 

Plot: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Fairy Tale of the Big City

 

Story: La La Land starts as we see aspiring actress Mia (Stone) dreaming off getting out of her coffee job and becoming a star, even if she keeps getting rejected in her audition. We also meet Sebastian (Gosling) a jazz musician who is one of the final lovers of the original art in a world that is modernising the style forgetting the magic jazz had on people.

When the two keep clashing it starts with a case of try to get one over each other between the two before it turned into flirting and sparks fly. Both searching for a way to make their dream come true they both take different paths to find it motivating each other two rise to the occasion. This is all singing, all dancing road to following your own dreams.

 

Thoughts on La La Land

 

StoryThe story here shines through as it pushes you to follow your dreams and not want to let them become compromised for anything. We see how both motivate to chase the dreams which are both old fashioned in the modern world of both Hollywood and Jazz. I did like the style of the story telling going over the four seasons showing how times in the relationship are changing. The story will leave you with a smile on your face.

Comedy/Musical/RomanceThe comedy going on in this movie is placed just when you need it without taking over the film. The main attraction of this film is the romantic angle which feels fresh and modern with everything that happens. The musical side isn’t as heavy as I was expecting but has all the elements of beautiful songs fitting each situation.

Characters/PerformanceMia represents all the aspiring actresses that struggle to get that first role that could make them, Sebastian is a musician that dreams of being able to listen and play the purest form of jazz, both these characters could easily be relatable if you are a fan of the subjects the way they are. Emma Stone gives what is easily her best performance of her career and I feel is also above Gosling who again is also brilliant. When you consider the supporting cast we don’t get enough from them to reach the levels of these two.

SettingsThe backdrop of Hollywood makes this film feel like the fairy tale Hollywood can be for anybody dreaming of making it in the city of dreams.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the films of the year, original, feel good and charming, one that everyone can enjoy.

 

Overall: The true film of the year contender.

Ratingcard

 

 

Emma Stone Weekend – Easy A (2010)

logoDirector: Will Gluck

Writer: Bert V Royal (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Aly Michalka, Stanley Tucci

Plot: A clean-cut high school student relies on the school’s rumour mill to advance her social and financial standing.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Good Modern Teen Comedy

Story: Easy A starts with Olive (Stone) telling us that rumours have left her reputation being shattered, where she has her best friend Rhiannon (Michalka) who wants Olive to go camping, but she lies about what happened leading to Rhiannon spreading the rumour.

When the rumour starts spreading the whole school seems to learn about Olive’s weekend with Marianne (Bynes) leading the stories due to her religious beliefs. Olive decides to embrace her new popularity in the school even if it is built on lies. Olive has just one person to turn to the gay Brandon (Byrd) who is also suffering from the rumour mill but the two decide to make their own rumour. The problem with this ruins any plans Olive has to be with the guy Todd (Badgley) that she really wants to be with. Just how far can the rumour mill spiral out of control though.

Easy A is a teen movie that I have started to grow out, my generation would be the American Pie franchise era. I think this does bring the idea of high school into the new world well because it still has the social situation and embraces the use of the modern technology. When it comes to the subject matter the film isn’t afraid to explain that is is a modern telling of the Scarlett Letter which I think is different to others who try to bring classic literacy into teen genre. I will say I loved the 80’s movie references but I would question why Olive was watching them. Overall I thought this was a good welcome addition to the teen comedy genre. (7/10)

Actor Review

Emma Stone: Olive is the quiet student who ends up embracing a rumour about her sexually stories. She becomes the talk of the school as they see her as the slut but in the end she is just making money for fake sexual encounters but the rumour starts getting completely out of control. Emma really has sky rocketed after this role showing she had all the talent. (9/10)olive

Support Cast: Easy A has such a big supporting cast that is hard to pick out who were the main supporters, the adult characters played by Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Tucci and Lisa Kudrow all give wonderful performances. While the teen characters all gives great performance dealing with Olive’s decisions.

Director Review: Will GluckWill brings us a new era of teen comedy that will be the stand out for the 2010’s. (8/10)

Comedy: Easy A has good comedy moments especially when the rumours start spiralling out of control. (8/10)

Romance: Easy A has good basic teen level romance with nothing too much until the final scene. (7/10)

Settings: Easy A keeps most of the story in and around the high school settings which works for the film. (8/10)

Suggestion: Easy A is one for a the teen comedy fans out there. (Teen Comedy Fans)

Best Part: Emma Stone’s performance.

Worst Part: Being picky, I didn’t like how there was a true supporting lead.

Romantic Moment: Final cliché moment.

Favourite Quote: DillIs everything all right? It sounds like you’re having sex in here, which I know can’t be true due to the fact that you have a homosexual boyfriend.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $58 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Let’s not and say we did.

Overall: Great addition to the teen comedy genre.

Rating 75

Emma Stone Weekend – Aloha (2015)

logoDirector: Cameron Crowe

Writer: Cameron Crowe (Screenplay)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin

Plot: A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watch-dog assigned to him.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Boring

Story: Aloha starts Brian Gilcrest (Cooper) who dreams of going into space but his dreams go sour after teaming up with billionaire Carson Welch (Murray) before getting a chance to go back to Hawaii. He is now a representative for Carson due to a war injury who has to deal with his ex-girlfriend Tracy (McAdams) but has to follow orders from captain Allison Ng (Stone), while meeting back up with former friends.

Brian working for Carson as he wants to introduce a space program to Hawaii but first Brian needs to negotiate with the locals. All this while Brian ends up in the middle of a love triangle with Allison and Tracy.

Aloha is a film that just never pulled my attention, be it the bland characters slow moving love triangle or whatever Carson was meant to be doing. I personally am not sure what was meant to be happening, everything that did happen just seemed to be very slow moving and offering nothing to really root for. You simply jut didn’t care what was happening. (2/10)

Actor Review

Bradley Cooper: Brain is an injured war veteran who has sided with billionaire Carson to look into making space travel happen, he has to return to Hawaii where he ends up having to see his ex-girlfriend and be followed around by the golden soldier of the local military. He is here to help create a deal to make space travel in Hawaii. Bradley gives a very average performance not getting a chance to show his real talent. (5/10)brian

Emma Stone: Allison is the most prized soldier of General Dixon who has to show Brian around, she admires him and doesn’t want you to forget she is a quarter Hawaii. While many people criticised the character created she was one of the better things in this film. (6/10)allison

Rachel McAdams: Tracy is the ex-girlfriend of Brian who lives on Hawaii with her new husband and family, when the two get to spend time together they get the closure they never really got. Rachel gives a plain performance that really doesn’t seem to do much. (4/10)

Bill Murray: Carson is the billionaire who is looking to make his own space program on the island of Hawaii and he give Brian one last chance to prove himself to him. Bill tries to bring his quirkiness to this role without really pulling it off. (5/10)

Support Cast: Aloha has the standard attempted comedic actors trying to pull this off but they had little to work with.

Director Review: Cameron CroweCameron has given us some great films in the past but now he has managed to give us his worst. (2/10)

Comedy: Aloha doesn’t have many laughs at all can hardly be called a comedy. (2/10)

Romance: Aloha tries to give us an engaging love triangle but doesn’t really succeed to make us care enough. (3/10)

Settings: Aloha tries to give our location something special with the idea of putting it all on Hawaii for the beautiful setting and doesn’t even get that right. (3/10)

Suggestion: Aloha is one too miss this year, if anyone says to watch just say no. (Just Say No)

Best Part: The end.

Worst Part: It is over an Hour and half.

Funniest Scene: Woody and Brian’s ‘Conversation’.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Please God No.

Post Credits Scene: I didn’t both to look.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $20 Million

Budget: $37 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes you have to say goodbye before you can say hello.

Overall: Just watch paint dry it will be more entertaining.

Rating 10